"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Town Meeting in a Nutshell ( Correction: Joyce Larson)

School District meeting was uneventful. All articles passed unanimously. It was announced that Superintendent Noyes agreed to stay on at 80% for another year. Outgoing Board member Richard Brown was honored for his term on the School Board and after adjournment, Lauren Lavoie Sturgeon and Joyce Larson were sworn in as School Board members,

Town Meeting started quietly , breezing through Articles 4 through 13 with overwhelming show of cards approval. There was a brief discussion on the inclusion of the so called " hearts and flowers" requests as some felt they should be included as in the past as separate petitioned articles.

Article 14- a petitioned warrant article seeking to pave a short portion of Blacks Landing Road paved from the uphill  grade from Berndorf Road to NH Route 109. It was defeated by a show of cards 104 NO to 79 YES

Article 15- A petitioned warrant article  to rescind the authority of the BoS to sell and or buy property and/or buildings, with the exception of tax deeded properties. Defeated 120 NO to 95 YES.

Article 16- A petitioned warrant article seeking to repeal BoS policy # 2 which establishes recommendations for private roads.
A motion to amend the article by including language that sought to have the legislative body direct the BoS to continue to plow private roads and defend an affirmative vote in court. Town Moderator Harry Blood ruled correctly, that the amendment was not properly warned and thus would not be accepted. A motion to overrule the moderator was easily defeated 67 YES to 107 NO.
Back to the original article, after lengthy discussion, the article as originally written was approved by a vote of 157 YES to 47 NO.
BoS Chairman Shipp honored the Proutys for many years of volunteer service and read the dedication to them in this years Town Report. Jordan Prouty thanked everyone and that he and Phyllis were very honored.
After some nice compliments from Chairman Shipp I was presented with the traditional granite token of appreciation for my service on the select board.

Despite Selectman Wakefield's comments that continuing to publicize the issue of plowing private roads could backfire, a " sense of the meeting" motion was made for the town to continue plowing private roads, something that the BoS have never said they would stop doing.

Meeting adjourned at noon.


Anonymous said...

A definite thank you for your service. It is evident that you were very dedicated and devoted a lot of time to the task. Unfortunately, your vision for Moultonborough differed from a majority of the voters. That is not to say that your vision is wrong, just it is not what the voters want at this point.

Anonymous said...

could have been out by 11 if not for the antics of the same individual who turned last years town meeting in to a circus. Today was circus part 2. EMbarrassing. Mr Blood did a fine job controlling things.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Circus indeed. The Town hired a real attorney for advice and yet someone who is not an attorney thinks he knows better. Why? Ego I suspect. He doe not act in the best interest of our town, nor has anyone elected him too. Has he ever run for office in this town? No. Until he does he should just stop running his mouth. Inane.

Eric Taussig said...

With regard to the comment in the Blog, that the Select Board never said they would stop plowing private roads, Blog readers should reach their own conclusion after reviewing the minutes of the February 16, 2017 BoS meeting, where the Chair, on behalf of the Board, stated:

"Having consulted with our town attorney, it is our understanding that the law does not allow for the use of public funds to pay for plowing private roadways. This is also the opinion of the attorney for Laconia, which is also investigating the issue. The Board is actively exploring current statutory options that may be available, and, in cooperation with the City of Laconia's attorney, the legal staff at the NHMA and others, the possibility of seeking the creation of new legislation that may permit the use of funds for such a purpose under certain circumstances."

As a result of that statement, I submitted a letter to the Board that asked 11 questions; below are the answers to questions numbers 5 and 10.

5. Is it the intention of the Town to plow roads during the winter of 2017-2018?
Answer: Unknown at this time.

10. If the Town is legally precluded from plowing so-called “private roads, will the Town still provide, fire, police and ambulance service to residents and property owners on such roads?
Answer: Yes, whenever conditions allow.

While some may consider those answers ambiguous, it is hard to ignore the opinion of the Town Attorney which states,

“that the law does not allow for the use of public funds to pay for plowing private roadways.”

While the Board's statement goes on to say that,

“The Board is actively exploring current statutory options that may be available…and… the possibility of seeking the creation of new legislation that may permit the use of funds for such a purpose under certain circumstances."

there appears to be no certainty as to what the future will bring. Thus, residents who reside on so called "private roads" have good reason to be concerned about whether the Town will provide plowing and sanding services pursuant to Town Policy #1 for next winter. The current policy on plowing and sanding is, in part, found in Select Board Policy #1.

See: http://www.moultonboroughnh.gov/sites/moultonboroughnh/files/uploads/1_privateroads092106.pdf

Anonymous said...

Mr. Blogger,

In your summary of the Town Meeting and the previous comment about the amendment offered by Mr. Corner, you said that residents should be quiet about plowing and leave it to the Board and lawyers. After reading the comments by Mr. Talsig and reading the statement by Chris Ship, I have to thank Mr. Tasig for what he has done.

Hiding behind the lawyers is not transparency. I watched some Town Hall streams and If there won't be a change in the law, we will be up the creek. The Board's chair and others should be working with Mr. Tasig, who I believe is a lawyer, instead of shutting him down and ignoring him.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I don't disagree with you. I don't believe Mr. Taussig has been shut down. The town pays a good amount to town counsel whose main role is to protect the town. Mr. Taussigs emails and questions have been sent to counsel.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Taussig, In light of the current law pertaining to using public funds for private gain, as an attorney if you were representing the town, what would your advise be about the practice of using public funds to plow private roads. Could you please answer the following question. Today, right now, in YOUR opinion is the towns practice of plowing private roads indeed a violation of current law. A simple yes or no will suffice.

Eric Taussig said...

I really don't appreciate answering anonymous Blog entries, but will make an exception this time. My answer is No. If Anonymous wants to identify him or herself by name, an explanation will follow.

Note to Mr. Blogger. I do believe that when questions such as the above are sent in, they should not be published anonymously!!!.

Richard Barrett said...

Plowing of private roads is why there has to be exceptions to rules (laws). How many in Concord or even this town know how many residences (possibly a majority)are on private roads? Keep up the good work, Mr. Taussig.

Anonymous said...

Limited coverage in the Meredith News of our town meeting. The flavor of the sense of the meeting vote was not presented. Will the video be on the town website?